Carrot Weed is also commonly known as Parsley Dropwort. It is native to Europe, the Middle East, and parts of western Asia and North Africa. In New Zealand it is widespread in pasture and on road sides throughout Auckland and Northland.
It has a Parsley like appearance and grows between 20 to 30cm tall. The flowers are white, growing on the end of long stalks and look similar to those of a carrot. Parsley Dropwort is often confused with Wild Carrot which is also commonly known as Queen Anne's Lace, Daucuscarota. The later has a much more feathery appearance, more similar to a carrot.
Parsley Dropwort is a perennial plant (lives for longer than two years). Growing rapidly in the spring, flowering late spring early summer. It dies down in autumn, before re growing again the following season. Germination and regrowth in the Auckland and Northland regions can occur during the winter months due to the milder climate. Note the photographs above and below of the young plants taken on the 21st of June north west of Auckland.
It is usually found growing on acidic soils and will tolerate both damp and dry conditions.
It reproduces through seed and tubers. The tubers are small and found the ends of the roots. They enable the plant to regenerate if inappropriate control work has been carried out. It is often spread as seed in hay cut and transported from infected paddocks. Wind blown seed from road sides and uncontrolled neighbouring properties are also a problem.
Cattle and sheep will eat it until the flower stalks appear in spring, when it becomes unpalatable due to toxins in the leaves.
Control Soil PH and fertility is important as Carrot Weed appears to do well in soils of lower PH. A soil PH of 6.1 to 7 is ideal. We can carry out your soil test for you at no charge for our time. So before investing in expensive fertilisers, that may not be required, give us a call.
Carrot Weed is a difficult plant to control. Spraying the seedling stage in new and established pasture with MCPA (Agritone) or Baton and Dicamba during the months of July, August and early September (Auckland North) will effectively control it whilst minimising the impact on clover. Control too early may miss some of the germinating seedlings resulting in the need for a follow up spray. It is important to contol it before flowering in the spring. Once flowering occurs it becomes a difficult plant to control. Ongoing control is required as once established a significant seed bank can build up in the soil. If left unchecked it will almost completely take over the pasture.
As clover is susceptible to these chemicals and to ensure good control is achieved of the target species you need to do a couple of things:
1. Prior to spraying, ensure the pasture is well grazed.
2. Allow the pasture to flush away for a few days prior to spraying.
This opens the pasture up allowing the chemical to get to the target plant and reduces the amount of leaf area on the clover, minimising damage to this valuable pasture species.
There is no with holding period following spraying but it is advisable to leave stock off for a couple of weeks as once the plants have been sprayed they become more palatable and grazing can reduce the effectiveness of the chemicals.
Application of the above chemicals must be carried out by a suitably qualified and experienced operator. Look for a Registered Chemical Applicator such as Vegetation Specialists to assist.